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Mkulima Mfalme Grafting of crops

Crop grafting; the future of increased yield?

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Farmers over decades have embraced grafting as a way to blend plant varieties. Essentially grafting takes the makeup of two crops, places them together in an effort to make a new one.

In Kenya, fruit farmers hope to raise species that can guarantee them maximum profits. Amongst this plethora of farmers is Mkulima Mfalme nursery.

The well-known nursery has generated improved yield fruit seedlings for farmers in Nyandarua county. The fruit seedlings including apple and avocado that can withstand the chilly weather. Mkulima Mfalme is located in Green Valley Estate in the outer ends of Nyandarua.

The owner of the nursery, Sarah Ngoge, said her intention was to earn money and create employment opportunities.

“Agriculture has been my passion since I was young. I always thought of something that can be profitable as I had no land to engage in farming,” she spoke.

The well-arranged seed beds, the tender shoots held in place to their adoptive parent plant with nylon straps, show the dedication of the workers here.

Fruit seedlings, grafted with better species, sell handsomely. For instance, a grafted apple seedling costs Sh500 and an avocado Sh200.

Additionally, she spoke on the growth of avocado farming in the region as much she hadn’t paid it much attention.

“In as much as I enjoy my job, there are a lot of challenges involved including customers wanting the seedlings to be sold at lower prices and seedlings theft. Some customers also doubt our seedlings despite them being certified,” added Ngoge.

“I love my work but like any other, there are challenges; theft and price quarrels. Moreover, some farmers doubt the quality of our seedlings as much as they are certified.” Added Ngoge.

Another farmer, Isaac, has a running contract with Mkulima Mfalme that allows him to practice grafting.

He said that he was initially an employee in a certain farm before quitting and starting his own farm.

Starting off as an employee, he gained skills and the know-how to start his own farm.

Kimari said he has three employees already on his portion. In addition, for five years now, he has entirely relied on grafting for his upkeep showing just how profitable it can be.

 

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